Sunday, November 12, 2006

Iraqi Government Begins to Assert Its Authority--A Hopeful Sign?

Omar at Iraq the Model, shares this news excerpt from the Washington Post,
Iraq's Interior Ministry has charged 57 employees, including high-ranking officers, with human rights crimes for their roles in the torture of hundreds of detainees once jailed in a notorious eastern Baghdad prison known as Site 4, officials announced Monday.

The charges marked the first time the present Iraqi government has taken criminal action against members of its own security forces for operating torture chambers inside Interior Ministry prisons, said Brig. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, a ministry spokesman.
Omar himself comments on this action,
Although this move came late and it addresses only one case of atrocity I must say that I'm impressed that the interior ministry, with all the influence SCIRI has on it, has made this action.

Building rule of law is much more of a difficult task than breaking the law is and the transformation from jungle law to civil law requires patience and determination.
What makes me feel good about this is that we're now moving to prosecute the criminals of the present just like we prosecuted the criminals of the past.
The money quote in Omar's post for me, however, is this one,
Gangs and militias are stronger today than they were three years ago and the same can be said about the legitimate foundations and institutions of the state, even more, the latter are growing stronger at a faster rate even though that might not be so visible
That is not something we have seen very much evidence of, at least in the United States via our news media lately. Is it possible that this is actually true?

Omar's final comment raises the hope for future success almost to the level of "wishful thinking" when he opines,
Anyways, I think if law-enforcement apparatus, judicial and military alike, are allowed to retain the momentum, then maybe in a year we will be discussing al-Sadr and al-Dhari verdicts.
In spite of my doubts, I do rejoice that for at least one Iraqi citizen and commentator, hope still springs eternal!

If there is even this small shred of hope left in Iraq then I must embrace that hope as my own and, like the scene in "Peter Pan" where Tinkerbell is dying, I must stand on my feet, clap my hands and declare that "I believe in hope! I believe in a free, independent, unified, safe, secure and prosperous Iraq! I believe in people like Omar!"

I cannot and will not sit by and wallow in self-pity or hand-wringing when so much is at stake for so many people whose hope has been purchased by the precious blood of far too many Americans and Iraqis.

Omar, my prayers are with you and with your nation. Your hopes and dreams are my own. May they come to pass! May the day arrive when, together, we can declare that dreams can, indeed, come true!